Broken Promises?


I know it was you Fredo . . .

Is that all there is?


  1. No, it didn't turn out to be such a Scout camp moment, with all the eager participants sitting around the campfire roasting their marshmallows, the stars in the sky.

    I wonder how much Obama meant by that quote at the top? Was this his vision of an "ideal" America, one he would bring about once president? Or was he surrendering to what he thought people wanted to hear? If the latter, that indicates a great deal of corruption.

    But let's not forget, Obama could have forgotten about national healthcare once in office. Or he could have worked for Medicare Part E, giving government funded insurance entirely to the insurance industry.

    Every new president is an amateur, I think, since there is no real training for the job. And considering the size of our problems..... Could O simply be revealing his training wheels? Which may be why he hasn't gotten off the ground? He still has much to learn? Or is his motivation darker, corrupt, and somewhat cynical?

    (Who says mixed metaphors are bad? Who makes these rules?)


  2. But let's not jump the gun. It isn't over until it's over. Let's get the hangover of a 24/7 news cycle out of our heads, leaping on the latest up or down as if it were the final world on the subject. Indicating the success or failure of Obama's presidency. It ain't over until it's over, or reasonably clear, at least.

  3. I think the real question is............

  4. does Obama Girl feel about this?

  5. American Politics go way above my head, sir.

    When the President was asked on Univision's Al Punto whether the public option was dead, he said:
    "I absolutely do not believe that it’s dead. I think that it’s something that we can still include as part of a comprehensive reform."

    But then again, according to the New York Times, the President did suggest that those who are demanding a public option (i.e. more than 75 percent of the people surveyed in a recent poll, including a majority of physicians, according to a new poll) needed to get beyond their "ideological positions" (whatever he meant by that, sir - I am not sure) so "something" could be done:

    "As he did during a speech to a joint session of Congress this month, the president spoke favorably of a public insurance option to inject competition into health care, but he did not say it was an essential part of a bill. He urged 'folks in my own party' to move beyond that debate and focus on 'the broader aspects' of the health care overhaul."
    "'Everybody’s gonna have to give some in order to get something done,' Mr. Obama said, speaking on NBC’s 'Meet the Press.' He added, 'We’ve got to get past some of these ideological arguments to actually make something happen.'

    If you ask me, sir, I'd think Obama Girl would be confused.

  6. As a drunk sitting on the other side of the long bar, respectfully depending upon the Captain of our Ship, the Bartender, to help fuel my growing drunkenness - I hope to make it a long night, with much tongue flapping, noise, revelry, and maybe picking up a nice chick somewhere along the way - I will naturally hesitate to confront the Bartender with an opposing opinion. For in some parts that could be seen as an affront. And authoritarian Bartenders, who run a tight ship, are the scourge of all drunks such as myself. Fearing the dread 86. Though I can truly understand their point of view. It’s just wrong when they apply it to me.

    But now that I am on my tenth drink (and the Bartender has an eye on me) I will say, in open session ranked along a crowded bar, that Obama is playing his instrument, be it a violin, harp, or oboe, in a careful cautious way. Considering the votes, which are lacking, in Congress. Where he hopes to salvage at the very least a modest progressive plan. One which will bring about that heralded %80 of improvement both Democrats and Republicans can agree upon. (Or at least so they say.) it is the Democrats, though, namely the Blue Dogs, and the like, who stand in the way of progress. Who have exacerbated this national headache. The circus on the sidelines portends rowdiness and noise, perhaps an insane act. One with catastrophic results. Obama inherited a mess. The psychology which created it lingers on. There is always resistance to change.

    What should our president do? Butt heads? Threaten, cajole, bribe, promise, incentivize, proselytize, pound his chest? The mass media, in terms of air time, have turned against him. No more free air. If our Pres wants to go out and speak to the nation he will have to come up with his own devices. They fairly sneered at him tonight for going onto so many talk TV shows today. What, do we care, they say. Not at all. Pass the Cialis. That’s where our money is made. And are you sure Obama can’t be bought off? Has he?

    But as a drunk shouting out into the night, ignored, a hero in my own mind, a messenger of God, transcendent, tearing down the walls of the mighty with bright shining truth, and generally raising hell, what more can I say? For I know I'm right!

    I’m drunk! I’m right! I’m drunk! I’m right.

    End of argument.

    Now, where are those Obama ladies? I wonder if one would like to have a drink? I am eager to discover their insights,opinions, understanding, wisdom,and great intellectual strength.

  7. How wonderful, sir.

    I compliment the gentleman on his fine taste in liquor and in women, and on his dedication to the pursuit of "understanding, wisdom, and intellectual strength".

    Perhaps the gentleman could try and invite Marta Evry from to join him for a drink. Or Anne Mai Bertelsen from the

    I am sure the gentleman would find either one excellent company.

    Or did the gentleman have some other ladies, someone more specific perhaps, in mind?

  8. As a rule on the day after a bartender is not happy to see me. So I thank our bartender for his kind words.

    I would be glad to discuss any vital subject with any of the ladies the bartender recommends, so long as it's not with Carrie Prejean. And of course the gents would be welcome too.

    Now, who's buying?

  9. According to surveyusa, to the question "how important do you feel it is to give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance?," 83% of the ladies surveyed answered that it was "extremely important or quite important" (vs. 71% for the gents).

  10. Meanwhile on the International Stage: as Obama is due to speak to the United Nations General Assembly on the need for the nations of the world to work together on "the pressing issues that threaten their interests," Christi Parsons and Paul Richter (LA Times: "This week, the world is watching Obama") conjecture that, to a great degree, leaders around the world are watching how well Obama is doing back home at unifying his own country behind the healthcare reform.

  11. "A prophet hath no honour in his own country."

    John 4:44, sir.

    Isn't it how the verse goes?

  12. "With great power there must also come — great responsibility!"

    Stan 15:00, ;-)

    This is how the verse goes! (Stan Lee: Amazing Fantasy #15 - August 1962)

    It's called moral leadership. But we know that the founding fathers had little faith in the American people.

    What the former head of state of the last superpower, G. W. Bush, could have done 8 years ago, when the world was his oyster:

    Huffington Post: Much attention was fixed on U.S. President Barack Obama's first U.N. speech today, where he said the United States is "determined to act."

    "The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing," Obama said, after receiving loud applause. "And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out."

    US battles for credibility on climate change:

    Fox News: "President Obama promised the United Nations Tuesday that his administration is "determined" to do more to address the nation's climate change obligations.

    But left out of the speech to the General Assembly special session on climate change was the political reality the president faces in trying to keep that promise.

    While the House passed a sweeping climate change bill this year, it has stalled in the Senate as health care reform dominates the domestic agenda."

    Associated Press: "The House passed a bill this year that would set the United States' first federal mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. Factories, power plants and other sources would be required to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by mid-century. By comparison, Japan is committed to cut its emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

    But with the Senate bogged down in the fight over reforming the health care system, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said this week that the senators might not move on climate legislation until next year.

    That was too much for John Bruton, head of the European Union delegation in Washington. He issued a statement that pointed out that by the time the Senate acted, the climate change conference would have been ended, the delegates gone home.

    "The United States is just one of the 190 countries coming to this conference," Bruton said, "but the United States emits 25 percent of all the greenhouse gases that the conference is trying to reduce.

    "I submit that asking an international conference to sit around looking out the window for months, while one chamber of the legislature of one country deals with its other business, is simply not a realistic political position."

  13. So how come the Senate can't deal with more than one major issue at a time?

    Anyone partially awake over the past decade or two has a sense of urgency regarding the world's climate.

    To think, Jimmy Carter tried to get the ball rolling when he was president. I think he had a lot of bad luck. It turns out to be bad luck for us too. World events ended whatever progress he wanted to make in that regard. And the US was not ready for change, anyway. Not with so much profit at stake by protecting the continued status quo.

    Then we had 8 years of Bush during which man caused climate change wasn't even acknowledged, until the very end. And only reluctantly. Science, as someone pointed out, has become "controversial." And there remains an all too human propensity to put quick gain above the common good. Even if it should affect your grandchildren.

    Good luck, World! We're going to need it.

  14. While the Libertarian ideologies may seem deceptively absent from our "brilliantly ineffectual" two-party system, the Libertarian political platform of "hands-off democracy" and "rough-and-tough capitalism" is in fact deeply rooted amongst both the Republican and Democratic parties alike.

    There are long and convoluted reasons to this, some of which go back to the Anti-Federalist Papers (Or is that Plato's Republic?)

    Our system of government is "brilliantly ineffectual" because this is how it was intended to be----except for the power of the Executive to wage war (contrary to the popular opinion that the framers of the Constitution intended that the President cannot engage in war without an act of Congress, in fact the framers chose the final wording with the intent of "leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks" without the explicit approval of Congress, a major loophole that has been much used and abused).

    Other than the ever growing influence of the military-industrial complex, American politics has mostly been the result (with a few notable exceptions at times of great crisis---and even then) of the belief that the government's role is to stay out of the way and essentially do nothing to upset the status-quo of the "natural order."

    It is a static system that insure a certain stability---when "nothing needs to be done."

    It works pretty well that way: if you are a Libertarian and you are doing reasonably well for yourself, you'll have little regard anyway for the "unworthy scums" and "undeserving parasites" of our "great experiment" who may have fallen through the ever widening cracks of the system.

    It doesn't work so well in times of great social crisis or world emergency (other than war, that is)---which is essentially the time at which the same Libertarians ideologues, who celebrate our "brilliantly ineffectual" form of governance (they would drown government in a bathtub if only they could, in the words of Grover Norquist), can point the finger at the "do nothing" government and denounce its inefficiency. Those are times when the people get to experience first hand (close and personal) how disenfranchising Libertarianism ultimately is (if one is not part of the elite and doesn't own a lobbyist on K street, that is---Libertarianism, especially Ayn Ran's brand of Libertarianism, always has been rather "elitist" that way) and how unrepresentative of the people our "representative democracy" really is: like when, say, 77% of the people favor the idea of a healthcare reform with a "public option" [link], but Congress, (including Democrats), and the media, who for all practical purpose declared the public option DOA, will have none of it, and the President of the United Sates, who endorsed the public option idea during the presidential campaign (after it was originally embraced by his Democratic rival John Edwards), equivocates---and even appeared reluctant at one point to own up to it.

  15. Kah-ge-ga-bowh, sir——an Ojibwe Indian Chief——said that among the Indians there were no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation were the only laws to guide them. Every one was free to act differently from what was considered right and honorable did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation.... "This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact."

    Did you know that the Iroquois nations' political confederacy and democratic government have been credited as influences on the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution?

    Historians debate how much the colonists borrowed from existing Native American governmental models.

    There are historians, like Donald Grinde, who contend that the democratic ideals of the Gayanashagowa provided a significant inspiration to Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and other framers of the US Constitution. John Rutlege of SC in particular is said to have read lengthy tracts of Iroquoian law to the other framers, beginning with the words "We, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order..." The Congress of the United States passed Concurrent Resolution 331 in October 1988, specifically recognizing the influence of the Iroquois Constitution upon the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Those were different times. In the end the white man written "word" proved of no value: while US government authorities entered into numerous treaties with the Indians, they systematically violated most of them for various reasons. Other treaties were considered "living" documents whose terms could be altered. It was all justified in the name of manifest destiny.

    Nowadays the American Indians run gambling casinos, and the white man runs Wall Street.

    Politics is a messy business, sir.

    As I said, most of that stuff goes way above my head.

    There is an old Cherokee/American/Cowboy saying——Will Rogers, sir——claiming:

    "You've got to be (an) optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one"

    Will Roger was an humorist, of course. And, as he famously put it, making light of his political leanings:

    "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."

    The political junkies, sir... they say that the Democrats... they fully intend to pass the public option.

    According to Bob Cesca this is how they'll do it.

  16. Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, argues the same thing our Bartender does. On the other hand White House bean or head (some might say beanhead) counter Rahm Emanuel claims the votes in the Senate are lacking. And that the public option will go down.

    At this moment in time, this very instant, as you take breath, think, clear your head, inhale, exhale, look into the future and consider your mortality, how is it possible to absolutely see what the final vote will be?

    We know it will be close. We know they will finagle. We know various parliamentary procedures are available to both pass or kill any final bill. We know it will be a battle to the end.

    We are in the intestines of the sausage making viscera of our nation's gut in which major change and reform is made. It is smellier here than a hundred year old septic tank.

    The Blue Dogs represent districts which are essentially Republican. Or so close that they teeter like a full glass of water resting on the head of a Hells Angel making his way down Highway One at 3AM on his chopped Harley. Or should that be a bottle of beer? The wrong twist of an elbow could easily spill the glass. Who can see that clearly into the future?

    Somebody, of course, will. Whoever that is will have predicted what the outcome will be. Not me, though. That's for sure. I can only watch and see. One of you will be right.


  17. Regarding the original natives, it is easy now for the white man to be contrite. He will never give back any of the land.

  18. Has everyone seen this?

    It is a peculiar national state of mind in America to claim, constantly, that we are better and greater than anyone else in the world while still denying universal healthcare to one and all. Yet we do. And find rationales for doing so, even claiming our corporate system is inherently better. And lying routinely about the satisfaction others have with their systems, pointing out others come here for care. On and on.

    That kind of migratory search for care occurs all over the world. And never mind the simple fact that only a few Canadian rightwing ideologues (to name one country) would ever trade their system for ours. In fact, the world looks on with insulted lofty bemusement at our odd attitudes. For the solution is so obvious.

    I have a leftist, Jewish great grandmother friend in Berkeley who sends out news items with the comment, "Outrageous!"

    Well, read the above. If that is not "outrageous" I do not know what is.